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*2nd) (and the one that I am trying to find a formula for) Suppose that I start an IRA with an initial investment of $1000 and every year I add $3000 more to it. What formula can I use to determine how much the IRA will be worth in a certain number of years given an expected rate of return. *

You're looking for the future value of an annuity, which gets a little messier. One formula is:

((1+r)^n) - 1

-------------

r

where *r* is the expected rate of return (per period) and *n* is the number of periods.

That will work for the $3000 annual additions. Then you'll need to add in the value of your initial contribution of $1000 figured from the formula given to you earlier.

--Peter